Cloud 9 Adventure Ltd Coronavirus Policy
We know that many of you will have concerns about whether or not you'll be able to travel in 2021. We certainly hope that travel will be possible, and are planning to run as many trips as any potential travel restrictions allow. Our experience from running trips in summer 2020 is that we can usually run the trip: our main problem is whether or not you can get here, which obviously depends where you are travelling from. Our experience is that travel corridors, quarantine rules and local lockdowns change frequently and without much warning. As a result, a degree of flexibility about your travel plans is required.
Having said that, we had a number of successful trips in summer 2020 for those who were willing to travel. Hotels and mountain huts operated with reduced capacity, and we were able to run safe, socially-distanced trips.
Regarding upcoming trips in Summer 2021:
Private trips - if you have booked a private trip and already know that you'd like to postpone to Summer 2022, just let us know. If you'd prefer to wait a little longer to see if your trip can go ahead, the cut-off point for us is the time at which we need to pay suppliers (namely hotel balances) in full. This obviously depends on your individual trip, as each hotel has a different policy, but on average it can be anything from 4 to 8 weeks' notice. We'll be writing to each group leader approximately 8 weeks before your trip with your options.
Guided group trips - if you have booked a place on one of our group trips, we'll be in touch approximately 6-8 weeks before your trip with further news. We intend to run your trip if you can get here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I book a holiday for Summer 2021?
Absolutely! We intend to run any trips that we can, and a number of our group trips are already guaranteed to run. We would recommend booking with an open mind. We genuinely don't know how realistic it is that your trip will run, but we will adjust accordingly nearer to the time of your trip. If summer 2020 is anything to go by, we were able to run trips in Europe from mid-June until the end of September for Europeans, and from early July to mid-August for those from the UK. Those from further afield were generally unable to travel to Europe. We are in limbo for the moment about if and when borders can open.
Is my deposit or trip balance protected?
Yes: as part of the EU Package Travel Regulations, all payments you make to us are protected, and are stored in a Tour Operator Trust Account until the date your holiday finishes. If you postpone your trip, your funds are still protected under the same policy. In the unlikely event of our financial failure, you would receive a full refund of anything you have paid to us.
When will I know if my holiday will take place?
If your trip is not imminent, we just can't tell if it will run. What we do know is that If we can run your trip, then we will! We will be in touch with you individually 8-10 weeks before your trip if there are no travel restrictions in place, and 4-6 weeks before your trip if there are travel restrictions.
Should I make my travel arrangements yet?
Under normal circumstances, we usually suggest that you make your travel arrangements as soon as your trip is guaranteed. However, due to current unpredictability, we would now suggest doing so with caution. Either by booking a flexible, refundable travel option, or by booking with shorter notice once you have more of an idea that your trip will go ahead.
When is my balance payment due?
Balance payments are normally due 8-10 weeks before the start of your trip. We send the balance reminders out 10 weeks before the trip, giving you 2 weeks to arrange your payment.
If in the run-up to your trip it is still unclear about whether the trip can go ahead, we won't ask for the trip balance: we just feel that it's not worth asking for balances when we don't know if the trip can go ahead. We will be in touch individually about each trip, in the order that they are due to happen. Don't be alarmed if you were expecting a balance reminder and haven't received one: your trip is still confirmed, we just don't want to ask you for the trip balance too soon if we might not be able to run your trip.
I am not resident in the UK. Does this affect my trip?
As a British company, with many British clients, we follow UK government advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Many of our clients are from outside the UK. Each country has different rules about where they can travel to, so please refer to your own foreign office website to check whether you can travel to your destination.
The FCDO is not advising against travel to my destination, but I still want to cancel my trip. Am I entitled to a refund?
If your holiday can still go ahead as planned, but you have changed your mind about travelling, then our normal Terms and Conditions apply. You should check whether your travel insurance covers your reason for cancellation. You can transfer your place to another person if you wish.
The FCDO is advising against travelling to my destination. Am I entitled to a refund?
If we have to cancel your holiday due to FCDO travel travel advice, then we will be in touch with you individually no earlier than 6 weeks before your trip (in most cases it would be 4 weeks beforehand), and you will be able to choose from the following 4 options:
postpone your trip to later dates (no fee to swap dates)
put your deposit towards a 2022 trip (and subsequently receive that trip at the 2021 price)
if you're not sure of the new dates you would like, you can still postpone your trip, and just let us know when you know your dates - you'll still receive the trip at the 2021 price
receive a refund
The FCDO is advising against all but essential travel to my destination: can I still come on holiday?
If the FCDO advise against travelling to your destination, then we would offer you the option to cancel the trip with a full refund. If you would still like to travel, then we are happy to run your trip as long as any local restrictions allow. In the case of a group trip, we would still need to achieve the minimum number of bookings for the trip to go ahead. In the case of a private trip, you will have been quoted based on the number of people in your group, so if some of your party choose to cancel, you may have to pay a supplement to cover the additional trip cost (eg guiding and luggage delivery is better value per person when split over a larger group than a smaller group). You would also need to be fully aware of the risk involved in travelling, and would need to check the validity of your travel insurance.
What happens if there are quarantine or self-isolation measures when I return home?
If your country of residence requires a quarantine or self-isolation on your return home, this does not affect the delivery of your holiday and our normal Terms and Conditions would apply.
What happens if a lockdown where I live prevents me from being able to travel?
If a lockdown in your country of residence prevents you from travelling, this does not affect the delivery of the holiday, and our normal Terms & Conditions would apply. We would advise making sure that your travel insurance covers this eventuality.
What if I fall ill with Covid before or during my trip, or come into contact with someone who has tested positive?
Please ensure that your travel insurance covers this eventuality. If at any time during the trip you display symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste), you will be asked to seek medical advice and take appropriate action.
What if my trip has to change due to covid regulations?
If we can still run your trip by making some small changes to accommodate any new rules, then we will. If you booked a private trip, and new rules require group size to be capped (and therefore the guiding ratio may need to change), or transport rules require smaller group sizes in minibuses, then we will need to charge for any additional services used, but will discuss this with you first to make sure you are happy with any arrangements.
What precautions are you taking with regard to covid?
Mask wearing: masks are obligatory in many of the places we visit: indoors whilst moving around in public places, on public transport, in any of our vehicle transfers, on ski lifts, and in some town centres (including Chamonix). We do not ask people to wear masks whilst hiking, running, cycling, skiing or snowshoeing.
Hand sanitiser: we ask all of our clients to have this handy, use it regularly, and wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Meals: on our group trips, you will normally be sitting at a table for your group. This is the one aspect of group trips where it is difficult to socially distance. Please let us know in advance if you would like to be seated separately. We can't promise it will be possible (due to reduced capacity in restaurants), but we will try to arrange this for those who wish.
Social distancing: our holidays are outdoors and in the mountains, so we're happy that this element of your trip is possibly the safest way to eliminate exposure to crowds. It has been hard to get used to not giving our guests a great big hug when we say goodbye, but we've had to stop hugging, kissing, and hand-shaking for the time being. Where you have a choice, choose to sit alongside fellow guests rather than opposite. And please don't share food and drink - no more handing round of sweets!
Mountain huts: huts in different countries have different guidelines to follow. All have reduced capacity in order to allow people to be further apart. In many huts, it is now obligatory to bring your own sleeping bag. Pillows were not provided in some huts, and most had to stop providing hut slippers (this may change for summer 2021).
Health: We ask you not to come on your trip if you are suffering from covid symptoms. In the event of symptoms, we ask you to leave the trip to seek a covid test / medical advice.